Facebook dished out another $2 billion shortly after their massive $16 billion acquisition of Whatsapp. Zuckerberg announced Tuesday that it acquired Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift gaming headset in a cash and stock deal valued at $2 billion. The terms of the deal include $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock.
The Oculus Rift project gained prominence on Kickstarter, raising over $2 million in the summer of 2012. The company went on to raise more than $91 million in venture funding in 2013. With this exit, the Oculus Rift is easily the most successful Kickstarter project of all time. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.
Although the Oculus team was never committed to bringing a consumer version of its VR headset to the market, more than 75,000 developers had already ordered developer kits for the technology — and the early prototypes we’ve seen look amazing. Facebook says that Oculus will remain headquartered in Irvine and will continue developing the Oculus Rift platform.
The 9500 users that backed the Kickstarted are less than happy, voicing their concerns on twitter and other social media sites. One user said on twitter:
Facebook could buy an awful lot of goodwill for the cost of 3 engineers by refunding the 9500 Oculus Kickstarter backers their $2.5 million.
The acquisition does raise a few questions regarding the pay-back t the original Kickstarted backers. Will Facebook buy them out or return their initial investments?
Facebook seems to be taking massive leaps forward, and from what it sounds like we can expect to see the dreaded Facebook adds in more and more places. We are also left wondering if Facebook has any plans to use Facebook in conjunction with the Oculus VR technology. Imagine seeing a virtual stream of your newsfeed?
Zuckerberg also said on Facebook:
I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.